January 30, 2013 | by

Michigan CardioVascular Institute (MCVI) Foundation and Mobile Medical Response (MMR) Collaborate on New APProach to Saving Lives

Michigan CardioVascular Institute Foundation – Saginaw, Michigan(SAGINAW) – As part of the MCVI Foundation’s Shocks & Saves initiative, the Foundation and MMR have teamed up to release a life-saving smartphone app called PulsePoint at their upcoming Shocks & Saves Charity Hockey Game on Saturday, February 2, 4:30 p.m., at the Dow Event Center.

The free app, designed for both Android and iPhone, uses GPS to notify people with CPR training when an emergency cardiac event is happening near them.

Initially being piloted in Saginaw County, PulsePoint works in conjunction with MMR’s Medical Communications Center to create a community CPR/AED alert system

Here’s an example of how it works:

Someone at Best Buy collapses and isn’t breathing. A cashier calls 911. While an ambulance is dispatched to the scene, the message is simultaneously sent to PulsePoint. The app uses GPS to notify users within a quarter-mile of the scene.

A shopper at nearby Guitar Center is a PulsePoint user and receives a text alert that CPR is needed at Best Buy. The app includes a map showing the location of the victim and the nearest AED. The Guitar Center shopper can proceed to Best Buy, begin CPR, and deploy the automated external defibrillator (AED) before the ambulance arrives, significantly increasing the victim’s chances of survival.

The purpose of the app is to empower ordinary citizens, who are willing and trained, to become bystander rescuers.

“Sudden cardiac arrest is not the same as a heart attack,” says Diane Fong, MCVI Foundation executive director. Sudden cardiac arrest occurs when electrical impulses in the heart become rapid or chaotic, causing the heart to suddenly stop beating. Cardiac arrest can be reversed if CPR is performed or a defibrillator is used quickly to shock the heart back to a normal rhythm. “Minutes – even seconds – are precious,” Fong explains.

By providing CPR immediately after sudden cardiac arrest – while the ambulance is on the way – bystanders can double or triple a victim’s chance of survival of a teammate, nearby shopper, congregation member, fellow diner, spectator, neighbor, or loved one. “We know so many stories of ordinary people being in the right place at the right time to save a life. Obviously, the survivors are grateful. But the rescuers are truly moved by the opportunity to make a difference, pay it forward, and save a life.”

MCVI Foundation and MMR have teamed up for their annual Shocks & Saves Charity Hockey Game for six years now, explains Lynn Schutter, MMR director of community relations and strategic planning. “We’re extending the Shocks & Saves brand beyond hockey to include our year-round efforts to empower people to save lives. There are many people out there who are willing and able to perform CPR, and when available, use AEDs to improve survivability of sudden cardiac arrest victims.”

Part of the program includes free CPR training for chest-only compressions and AED use. Both MMR and MCVI Foundation offer several opportunities for free non-certified CPR training throughout the year. To kickoff the Shocks & Saves initiative, the first training blitz will be on Saturday, February 16, at Freeland Sports Zone at 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and 12 noon. Each class lasts just an hour.

Tickets to this year’s hockey game, which features local physicians, EMTs, and NHL celebrities, cost $12 and include admission into that evening’s Saginaw Spirit game. All proceeds will go to fund the PulsePoint phone app, to purchase and place AEDs throughout the region, to offer CPR training at schools, and to educate the public about heart disease.

For more information, visit www.shocksandsaves.org or to donate text the key word SHOCKS to 56512.

Contacts
Diane Fong
President/CEO, MCVI Foundation
(989) 754-3319 or (989) 293-2217

Lynn Schutter
Community Relations Director, MMR
(989) 907-2013 or (989) 798-2115